Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 27, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #34

 He's asleep now after such a long, harrowing day.  A child of only five years old shouldn't have to go through the kind of trauma he did, especially with parents who don't give a shit enough to put aside their own selfish needs.

The judge has ordered that he be returned to his family. Is he fucking kidding me? There's clear evidence of abuse. If you could see how perfect he is at this moment, you'd understand. 


I was his age when it first happened to me. I know for a fact that I did nothing to incur their anger; it happened randomly, unexpectedly. My hair got pulled, somebody dragged me across the living room floor and down the hallway. My bedroom door was kicked open. I was tossed across the room and crashed into the wall near my window. Then the punches rained down all over my face and chest, guarding my head with my arms didn't work because my arms would end up hurting too. The yelling, screaming, and swearing was incomprehensible, but I felt the spray of spittle all over. I remember crawling under the bed one time, but that was useless. I'd either get dragged back out by my ankles or the entire bed itself upended and flipped over. I got it worse after that. I couldn't let that happen to him; I couldn't.

My phone beeped, and I saw the text message.

"This is not going to end well; bring Samuel in, and we'll work it out. You'll do some time, but the judge promises to be lenient."

"No can do," I replied. "If you saw what I saw, you'd understand."

"Then tell us! Show us!" the text came back. "Only, don't hide like this, it's considered kidnapping!"

"No, it's just a trap." I typed furiously.

"You're already trapped," the text came back. "Let me and one officer come in. It's your only chance to make your case."

I had to make a decision and fast. I had to think of the best thing for Samuel, but I also had to think of the best situation to validate my case. "Alright, come and get him."

I opened the door and stepped back. The police rushed in first and took me to the ground; the social worker was right behind them and pleaded that they do not take it out on me. "He's not a pedophile god-dammit!"

She found Samuel sound asleep and safe. A few minutes later, I was sitting in the back seat of a squad car when the officer opened the door and let the social worker, and I have a short conversation. "Is there anything I need to know?"

"Promise that you'll call me once Samuel gets home," I asked.

"Why should I do that?" She asked.

"Because I want the opportunity to tell you that I told you so,"



Collecting unemployment, miserable, I don't wake up until two or three in the afternoon. Then I just sit here staring at the laptop waiting for an e-mail, a call, or a text message. My diet consists of canned foods, junk foods, and pizza. I stopped going on my social media accounts because it's flooded with hate. The verbal abuse content is the same, pedophile, pervert, kidnapper, and on and on. The friendships and acquaintances are non-existent, which was unavoidable. Overall, I'm not destroyed by any of it. I'm just waiting. An hour after, I'm sitting on the toilet of all things is when my phone rings. It's the social worker, Sharon. 

"You want your chance to tell me I told you so? Get your ass over here right now!" I can hear screams in the background. Some of it is Samuel's parents, but most of it is Samuel. Shoes, jeans, buttoned-down shirt, jacket, and I'm out the door. The apartment complex is on the corner of Ward and Kīnau, itʻs an illegal left turn because itʻs a one way but I donʻt care. I narrowly miss a head-on crash, but I make it into the parking lot by the skin of my ass. Thereʻs a commotion on the second floor; everyone and their mother are converged on the front door. The police canʻt get through, so how am I going to get up there? Sharon appears suddenly and screams my name, "Burt, get up here now!!!"

The crowd parts like the red sea, and I am let through. The scene in the apartment is horrendous, but itʻs also reminiscent of my childhood trauma. Samuel is suspended in mid-air, screaming his head off. His fatherʻs attempts to help him are met with the sound of blows and slaps on his person. It sends him flying across the room. Samuelʻs mother tries as well, but here hair floats above her, and then the invisible force yanks her about before dashing her to the floor. Sharon and everyone else who witnesses the tableau is stricken with dumbfounded horror. I looked her in the face; I had to be sure she was looking directly at me. "I fucking told you so."

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